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Some wholesale vendors have already informed her that purchases will not arrive -- giving her the option of getting a refund, or buying another item. If a child doesn't get their preferred gift, she said the organization will attempt to grant their “second wish,” or find another replacement item.
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“It’s been a real challenge this year, and last year,” Mastrota said. “But this year especially.”Mastrota’s only hope now is if more toys are donated quickly. But such donations might further stress the profit margins of manufacturers who are facing high shipping costs and pressure to pass on increased costs to consumers.Jim Silver, CEO of Toys, Tots, Pets & More a toy industry review website, says charities are bound to see less toy donations from manufacturers this holiday season because many containers holding their products are stuck at U.S. ports, which have been experiencing record volumes of shipping containers as the economy recovers from the pandemic.
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“There is going to be a shortage,” he said. “Without a doubt.”Last month, President Joe Biden announced plans to establish around-the-clock operation at the Port of Los Angeles the nation’s largest, to tamp down the inflation being caused by ships waiting to dock and a shortage of truck drivers to haul goods. Port officials have said some of the bottleneck has since eased, but experts note it will take a long time before things get back to normal. Silver notes small and mid-size manufacturers who largely produce toys in countries like China are feeling squeezed by the supply chain problems more than larger ones. However, the disruption is also being felt at MGA Entertainment, the American toy giant which makes Bratz! and L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls Isaac Larian, the company’s CEO, says they’ve only been able to meet 70% of the demand for items because the company is waiting for hundreds of containers full of toys to clear the California ports.“These goods are not going to make it to Christmas,” Larian said. And the toys that are in stores now cost 23% higher than they did last year, he noted. His advice for anyone looking to get a toy is simple: shop now.Despite an earlier planning process, many gift requests for gaming systems and other items submitted to One Simple Wish have been out of stock, or are facing major shipping delays, said Daniella Gletow, the founder of the organization, which works with social service agencies across the country to facilitate holiday wishes anyone can grant for children in need.
“That’s obviously holding up our ability to make sure that we’re going to be able to fulfill all these needs in time for the holidays,” Gletow said. “Because our goal is to get everything out by the week before Christmas.”
To avoid further delays, she says the organization is encouraging donors to grant wishes earlier than they have in prior years.Toys for Tots, the nation’s most well known toy donation drive run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, is not expecting shortages, said David Cooper, the organization’s vice president of operations. He said the organization purchased about $16.5 million worth of toys this spring to mitigate any impact supply chain issues might have on donations.
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There are concerns more families might register to receive toys from them this year due to higher costs. However, a Toys for Tots spokesperson says early indicators for their holiday collection efforts point in a positive direction.Some of their donations in the past have gone towards The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, which also collects gifts for children and families in need during the holidays. The organization estimates about 5 million gifts are donated each year though the program. Though this year, Kenneth Hodder, Salvation Army's commissioner, says there are concerns many kids might not receive their gifts on time.
“We are encouraging everyone who has generously supported us in the past, and who would like to do so again this year, to shop early and to get those toys to us as quickly as they can,” he said.At the Christian relief charity Samaritan’s Purse, the concerns center around shipping delays. David Thompson, the senior director for the international portion of the group’s “Operation Christmas Child” project, says the organization is aiming to send 9.7 million shoeboxes filled with Christian materials and gifts to children in more than 100 countries. But a shortage of truckers, delivery equipment and other factors have slowed things down. “We have to be flexible,” Thompson said. “But our in-country teams, volunteers and logistical networks are strong. And we’re confident that the program will be carried out at the same level of excellence in scope that it has been in the past.”
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____The Associated Press receives support from the Lilly Endowment for coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits. The AP is solely responsible for all content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.
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